September 10, 2023 - Home Worship

For the week of September 10-16 – 15th Sunday after Pentecost

Morning Prayer Holy God, You call us to righteousness and light. Teach us the undivided law of love, that we may love Your children even as You do; that we may love You with all our will and strength, and find our freedom in Your blessed service, taught to us in word and deed by Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Lectionary Prayers)

Hymn: #540 I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord

  1. I love Thy kingdom, Lord, the house of Thine abode,
    the church our blest Redeemer saved with His own precious blood.
  2. I love Thy church, O God! Her walls before Thee stand
    dear as the apple of Thine eye, and graven on Thy hand.
  3. For her my tears shall fall, for her my prayers ascend,
    to her my cares and toils be given, till toils and cares shall end.
  4. Beyond my highest joy I prize her heavenly ways,
    her sweet communion, solemn vows, her hymns of love and praise.
  5. Sure as Thy truth shall last, to Zion shall be given
    the brightest glories earth can yield, and brighter bliss of heaven.

Psalm 119:33-40

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I will observe it to the end.

Give me understanding, that I may keep Your law and observe it with my whole heart.

Lead me in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it.

Turn my heart to Your decrees, and not to selfish gain.

Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; give me life in Your ways.

Confirm to Your servant Your promise, which is for those who fear You.

Turn away the disgrace that I dread, for Your ordinances are good.

See, I have longed for Your precepts; in Your righteousness give me life.

Children’s Time If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you've made a friend." Matthew 18:15 (The Message) Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:10 (NLT)

Once upon a time, there were two brothers. Their father had a large farm and when he became too old to work, he called his sons to him. "I am too old to work anymore," he said. "I will divide my farm in half and give each of you one half. I know that you will always work together and will be good friends."

When the brothers first started farming on their adjoining farms, they were the best of friends and would share everything together. Then, one day there was an argument between the two brothers and they stopped speaking to one another. For many years, not a word was spoken between them.

One day, one of the brothers was at his house when a carpenter came to his door and said, "I would like to do some work. Do you have any work that I can do?" The brother thought for a moment and then replied, "I would like for you to build a fence on my property. Build it down near the stream there that separates my farm from my brother’s. I don’t want to see my brother any more and I would like for you to build a high fence there please. I’m going into town and I’ll be back this evening.

When he came back that evening, he was shocked to see that the carpenter had not followed his instructions. Instead of building a high fence there, he had built a bridge over the stream. The man walked down to take a look at the bridge, and as he did, his brother walked toward him from the other side. His brother said, "After all the terrible things I’ve done to you over the years, I can't believe that you would build a bridge and welcome me back." He reached out to his brother and gave him a big hug.

The brother then walked back up to his farmhouse to talk to the carpenter. "Can you stay?" he asked. "I have more work for you to do." The carpenter answered, "I’m sorry but I can’t stay. I have to go, for I have many other bridges to build."

Sometimes you and I have a disagreement with our brothers and sisters in Christ. When that happens, we often build a fence between ourselves and them. We stop talking to them. We don't want to see them. We don't want to be around them. That isn't what Jesus wants us to do. Instead of fences, he wants us to build a bridge of love between us.

Dear Father, we know it is your desire for us to live together in peace and harmony. Help us to love one another. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. (

Prayers of Intercession:  Thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayers for those dear to our hearts.  We now pray as You have taught us: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us, not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen. 

Offering spotlight: Sunday School is a vital ministry that surprisingly many churches do not have.  Our Sunday School classes are fun ways to learn about Christ and about the Scriptures in the Old and New Testaments.  There are classes for nursery age children through adults.  Our teachers understand the importance and have completed all Pennsylvania State and United Methodist clearances.  Whether you have never read the Bible … or are well-versed in Scripture, let us help you find a class that is right for you. 

Offering prayer: God of love and compassion, we ask You to dedicate the tithes and offerings we bring to worship. We do this in the hope that You will do more with them than we could ever do on our own to heal the brokenness and division in our world. Remind us that the work of reconciliation does not get removed from our list because we put something in the offering when that mission field is within our arms’ reach. This we pray in the redeemer’s holy name, Jesus the Christ. Amen. (Discipleship Ministries)

Hymn: #357 Just As I Am Without One Plea

  1. Just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me,
    and that Thou bidst me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
  2. Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot,
    to Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
  3. Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt,
    fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
  4. Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; sight, riches, healing of the mind,
    yea, all I need in Thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
  5. Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
    because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
  6. Just as I am, Thy love unknown hath broken every barrier down;
    now, to be Thine, yea Thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Scripture:  Matthew 18:18-20            

Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in My name, I am there among them.”

Message:                       Pastor Becky Cuddeback

Do you remember when you first started praying? Maybe someone said bedtime prayers with you or it was praying over a meal together with your family, or maybe you were encouraged by a Sunday School teacher to pray in class. For many of us, our first prayer steps were accompanied steps, we weren’t praying alone. We had someone leading us and modeling for us how to pray. We followed their lead until we were released into our own prayer life.

Each of our prayer lives is different. We have our private prayers, our times of corporate prayer together in fellowship, whether that is in worship or the other opportunities we are gathered together. But do we join up together outside of those times to pray with each other or for each other? How many times have you left the company of believers and just wished someone would have prayed with you? Because those burdens that are too great for words or you just haven’t begun to make sense of what is happening – yet you desire down deep in your heart to have been in agreement in prayer with another person. Because honestly, we just need to know we are heard. This is not to say God isn’t listening. In our humanness we desire to be validated. We need to know what hurts us or brings us great joy are important.

If you make a statement in the presence of another person you expect some kind of response. In a pinch of desperation even a grunt will do in our need to be heard. This is why we need to embrace praying with each other, because the person beside you hears you. And being heard validates us and begins the journey of healing and of gratitude. Praying with another allows us to fully live into Galatians 6:2 “Carry each others’ burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

For the gospel writer, it is the duality of heaven and earth. He stressed that there are on the ground results to prayer and eternal results and both matter; both are equally important. We see this clearly in how Jesus instructs us to pray in the sixth chapter of Matthew, particularly verse 10 “Your Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Heaven, the eternal kingdom of God, is the model for our living, and that living is grounded in relationships and reconciliation. These are only be found in community and vulnerability. I know it is easier to embrace Jesus’s beginning teaching on prayer, Matthew 6:6 “But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Hear me, I am not disagreeing with Jesus, but I wish for our sakes, 18:18-20 were closer to the verses in chapter 6 of Matthew. We can’t only embrace solitary prayer any more that only espousing prayer in partnership. It is a balance, both bring us closer to our Heavenly Father and to each other – all for the glory of God.

Hymn #494 Kum Ba Yah (Come By Here)

  1. Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah. Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah.

Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah. Oh, Lord, kum ba yah.

  1. Someone’s praying Lord, kum ba yah. Someone’s praying Lord, kum ba yah.

Someone’s praying Lord, kum ba yah. Oh, Lord, kum ba yah.

  1. Someone’s crying, Lord, kum ba yah. Someone’s crying, Lord, kum ba yah.

Someone’s crying, Lord, kum ba yah. Oh, Lord, kum ba yah.

  1. Someone needs You, Lord, kum ba yah. Someone needs You, Lord, kum ba yah.

Someone needs You, Lord, kum ba yah. Oh, Lord, kum ba yah.

  1. Someone’s singing, Lord, kum ba yah. Someone’s singing, Lord, kum ba yah.

Someone’s singing, Lord, kum ba yah. Oh, Lord, kum ba yah.

  1. Let us praise the Lord, kum ba yah. Let us praise the Lord, kum ba yah.

Let us praise the Lord, kum ba yah. Oh, Lord, kum ba yah.

Go into your week with the blessings of The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit.